Some of us at the end of the week, look back and feel that we haven't really accomplished much. We feel like we are not working hard enough because we are not seeing results. And we beat up ourselves for poor results. This quickly brings us down. If you experience this, I think I may have a solution to get you out of this. In this video, I will show you how and why you need to focus on your efforts not results.
Here is the Happiness Forecast Video Episode 008:
To download your Free PDF, Focus on Your Efforts, click below:
The pattern of thought at the end of the day
This is a conversation that is going in the minds of many people and I know this affects women entrepreneurs. You've been working the entire day with diligence, juggling a hundred million things and taking action. But at the end of the day or at the end of the week, you begin beating yourself up because you feel you have not accomplished much.
You actually begin to all yourself names and label yourself: You say, "I am so lazy" or "I am just sitting around doing nothing" and come to conclusions that you are not working hard enough. Of course, with such self-talk, your sense of self-worth and self-esteem are greatly harmed and you progress in your work is slowed down as well.
You begin to use your business to harm yourself.
Looking for results is draining
What is happening here is that you are focusing on the results. You look at your day or your week and see if your goal has been accomplished. If you have not reached your goal, you begin lamenting that you are not working hard enough or that you need to get your act together.
This lens of looking at your life, especially work life, will never bring you relief. Instead it will cause you more suffering, more anxiety, lower and lower self-esteem and many other ill-effects.
The Gardener who found no flowers
So what is wrong with this looking for results? Actually, nothing is wrong with looking for results. The problem lies in looking for the results at the wrong time. Let me give you an example:
Imagine a gardener has planted 12 wildflower seeds in her garden. She has the perfect conditions set up with the right soil, right temperature, right sunshine and water and everything else the seeds may need. She plants these at 8 am in the morning. Then she goes to do other tasks. In the afternoon, she has lunch and takes a little break. Then goes back to take care of other tasks. Now evening has set and the moon has come out. She goes to her garden where she planted her 12 seeds and looks down at the soil. She frowns. No flowers!
No flowers! She did everything right. Right soil, right seed, right sunshine. Everything. But no flowers!! How can this be? It must be that she is not working hard enough. It must be that she is sitting around and doing nothing. She must get her act together. Tomorrow she must work harder and longer.
Law of Nature: Everything needs time to blossom
I know this is a bit of an exaggeration. But do you see what I mean? The gardener in this story takes all the right actions but she does not realize that there is another important ingredient that she must consider: time. Once the seeds are planted it takes time for them to sprout and once they have sprouted, they need the next set of right actions to care and nurture them and then again it takes time for them to grow bigger and bear flowers. It is just the nature of life.
But say the seeds are not sprouting after the adequate time, then the gardener can look at her efforts, learn what needs to be done differently and then adjust her action steps according to her findings. It doesn't mean that she was stupid before or that she did things wrongly. She just took different actions which now have led to different results.
That's why, I implore you to focus on your efforts not results!
We cannot influence how things will turn out except by looking at the efforts we put in. For instance, in a conversation, we cannot control how another person responds, but we can influence what we say and how we listen. We cannot control whether a seed we planted is healthy or not and whether it will feel that it has the right conditions to sprout; we can only influence what actions we take to offer the most conducive environment for the seed to sprout and then blossom. When you focus on your efforts, you empower yourself. When you focus on results, you make yourself weak, a victim, you offer yourself reasons to suffer.
This is another way to cultivate detachment to results and to external conditions.
I have spoken about this with the metaphor of baking a chocolate cake in this video here and perhaps you can get the meaning of what I am trying to convey from a different perspective.
So how can we help ourselves focus on our efforts?
Tally your efforts daily. Do it for at least 5 Days.
I must give credit to my mastermind buddy Marta Raptis who is a business coach to women entrepreneurs who want to create a successful business by being their true authentic self. She shared with me this idea of end of the day tallying one's efforts.
How to do this?
The Tally Process: Literally, at the end of the day, you bring out your journal and note down all the efforts you made today. Jot down all the actions you took today for your home and family, your business, your school, yourself, or any other project/responsibility you have. What this does is you will see a whole long list of activitiy you took.
+ This will make you realize that you are not a lazy xyz. ;-) Instead you have been working like a donkey all day long.
+ This will help you see the value you are adding to the people in your lives.
+ This will help you see your own self-worth and you'll realize that you are indeed making a contribution
+ You will begin to notice that the "results" you were looking for are perhaps already here, you just did not see them.
+ Or you will begin to see other kinds of blessings that you didn't notice. For instance, the smile on your loved ones face when you prepared them a meal. Now that is a massive result that we often overlook.
+ But most of all, you will stop beating yourself up for not working hard enough.
In this fully-booked, busy-schedule modern lifestyle, it is really rare to find people who are not working hard to make things happen. Perhaps, what may be helpful is not more hard work but more work towards the right kind of work. So in this list making process, you may realize where you have been investing your time and where you'd rather like to put more time in.
This Tally Process becomes a real handy tool to find out ways to be more productive, boost our self-worth and view of ourselves in our own eyes and a tool for deep introspection on how we want to invest our precious time in this life.
Free PDF Worksheet: Tally Your Efforts
To help you do the Tally Process, I've created a useful worksheet that you can download below for Free. Y.E.P! Ain't that nice? ;-)
Thank you so much for reading this article and watching this video. I hope it is useful for you as you go about your day-to-day activities, especially at the end of the day when you feel discouraged. Bust out your journal and just jot down what incredible, meaningful contribution you have made today. This is an easy way to focus on your efforts and not on your results - becoming detached.
Remember your Happiness Forecast is looking bright and sunny because You, my friend, are taking conscious, positive actions today.
Do share in the comments below how do you help yourself realize your efforts and any other impressions you have from the article or the video.
May you have a calm and peaceful mind!
PS: If you would like to go deeper into creating habits of happiness and immersing yourself in a mindset shift that leads to increased happiness experience, then come check out my online video program, Happiness Gameplan. It is a six week program with videos shot with beautiful waterfall sharing strategies that can help you change how you think and perceive life so it is more joyful and filled with ease in your day-to-day life. I have used these same strategies to help myself create a life of joy and abundance in the last 8 years. Go over here to learn about the details on what you get in the program.
Photo Credit and thanks for the beautiful image used in the banner of this post and thumbnail for the video goes to Ishan @seefromthesky. Thank you for your beautiful creation!
About Sophia Ojha
Hey there! I am so happy you found us or are revisiting us here on the blog.
Welcome! So that's me in the photo and I blog and make videos on the topic of happiness and inner-peace. Click here to learn more about me. Enjoy your stay here at reflectionpond.com